December 3, 2011

gingerbread everything

Now that we've entered the official countdown to the holidays it's time to start some festive baking projects. This week I took the opportunity to use my favourite holiday flavour in many different recipes: gingerbread.

Even though I used half of the recipe that I usually use, I still ended up with almost 200 of these little gingerbread men. The next thought was to use the extras as cupcake toppers which gave me the excuse to make some gingerbread cupcakes. 

Cupcakes were baked with molasses, ground ginger, allspice and cinnamon - just like the cookies - and covered with a generous swirl of cinnamon buttercream. I think the smiles on the gingerbread men cookies just got bigger.

The last baking endeavour involved my favourite confections: macarons. I simply added the ground spices (ginger, cinnamon and allspice) to the dry ingredients before folding. Once cooled they were filled with a fragrant ginger-orange buttercream. 

As much as I enjoy the Christmas season for all it represents: time spent with family and good friends, gift-giving, a much-needed break from studying/research, I'm pretty certain the best aspect is the food. Let the holiday baking begin!